Turning girls of color into robot-obsessed techies

Fortune

In a classroom at U.C. Berkeley, Jasmine, Alexandria and Alana bent over a table covered in gears and pulleys while they tinkered with a robot they’re building. But there was a problem: Their little grey rover with thick black rubber wheels rolls across the floor, but it moves backwards instead of forwards.

“The program is looping,” Alana said. “We gotta reprogram it.”

Alana Alexander is 11, and her team mates are 10. They spent their Saturday at a robot expo organized by Black Girls Code, a non-profit organization that helps to teach girls of color about technology.

Kimberly Bryant, a former engineer who has worked at Novartis and DuPont, started the program in 2011 after searching for after school science and technology programs for her daughter. She couldn’t find anything specifically for girls of color, so she started Black Girls Code.

“Our numbers are the lowest,” Byrant said about African-Americans…

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